Polling organizations have been forced to react to the outcome of the presidential race. The Tarrance Group (R), which conducts the George Washington University Battleground poll in conjunction with Lake Snell Perry (D), said in a release, "The Associated Press estimate of the final popular vote is Bush=51.1%, Kerry=47.9%, Other=0.58%, and Nader=0.34%. The Tarrance Group prediction for the popular vote, based on the GWU Battleground Tracking Poll was Bush=51.2%, Kerry=47.8%, Other=0.5%, and Nader=0.5%. This marks the third time in the last four presidential cycles that the Battleground Presidential Tracking Poll has been the most accurate Presidential Tracking Poll in the country." Similarly, Rasmussen Reports, an automated pollster, notes on their website this morning that their final national numbers, Bush 50.2%-48.5%, track very closely with the vote totals being reported this morning.
Others were more circumspect. John Zogby, who had publicly (and repeatedly) declared that John Kerry would win the Electoral College and whose final projection put Bush over Kerry 49.4%-49.1%, said in a statement on his web site, "We feel strongly that our pre-election polls were accurate on virtually every state. Our predictions on many of the key battleground states like Ohio and Florida were within the margin of error. I thought we captured a trend, but apparently that result didn't materialize. We always saw a close race, and a close race is what we've got. I've called this the Armageddon Election for some timea closely-divided electorate with high partisan intensity on each side."
Bush Officials Criticize Exit Polls, Mock Zogby.
Top White House and Bush-Cheney officials today leveled harsh criticism at the bad exit polls that suggested a large Kerry victory. "They tried to throw it in 2000 and this time too," said a White House official. "You guys have got to kill exit polls," said a Bush aide, claiming that they confuse the voters. White House officials also blasted pollster John Zogby who stuck with his prediction that Kerry would win the White House. Tuesday night, as the results were coming in, Zogby made the unusual move of again predicting victory. Zogby sent out a press release claiming that Bush would lose to Kerry in the Electoral College 311-213. "What does he do now? He's going down in flames," a White House political strategist told US News Bulletin.